"Get up, 'stand Up' – for Tosh"

24 Oct "Get up, 'stand Up' – for Tosh"

New York Amsterdam News
October 24, 2001
By Vinette K. Pryce, Special to the AmNews

Probably the most unceremonious of the three names internationally acclaimed as the ambassadors to advance reggae music as much as members of Bob Marley & The Wailers, Peter Tosh is rapidly receiving his due — 14 years after his death.

Last week, in Jamaica, the Rastafarian-born Winston Hubert McIntosh in 1944 was revered at the University of the West Indies (UWI) as a prophet and, in the most endearing terms, often reserved for the intellectuals of the society. It was a celebration of his birthday and an at-long-last acknowledgement that however rebellious he may have been, he contributed greatly to the evolution of Jamaica’s most impacting export –music.

It was Tosh’s guitar that kept Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley musically connected as they harmonized the music they envisioned as their message to the world. At UWI, Tosh was recalled with adulation and a film screened here more than a decade ago (but never seen in Kingston) entitled “Stepping Razor — Red X.” Jamaicans living at home finally saw the poignant life story Saturday when they attended the tribute/discussion. Wayne Jobson had been relentless in his effort to screen the film in Jamaica, but was always rebuffed with excuses that the film was inflammatory. Jobson managed to host a private viewing two years ago when the Jamerican Film Festival offered an opportunity in the second city of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Jobson leapt at the showcase and emerged a winner in submitting the biopic for critique. Jobson tried on this latest outing for a Kingston screening and was OK’d, with Roger Steffens, a reggae aficionado, to add to Tosh’s legacy.

Legacy, in their combined Epic/Columbia reggae series, released a Peter Tosh collector’s CD. Featuring previously unreleased chronicles of Tosh’s first American tour as a solo artist, “Live & Dangerous: Boston 1976″compiles tracks from the “Legalize It” album, as well as 11 live tracks performed with the legendary Word, Sound & Power band, which featured Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. Check the Reggae Spirit Series for “Honorary Citizen.” It is an elaborately designed triple-CD box set offering a comprehensive anthology devoted to the career of McIntosh.